The European Union is not the same institution it once was. An entity that was put together to ensure peace in Europe through regulating trade has most certainly evolved with the continent it represents. It has gone from signing an array of world-trade agreements to regulating a lot of routine aspects of people’s lives. Technology, data and innovation could not be left out of this ever-changing growth.
As released through a press communication on June 6th by the European Council, the EU seeks to stimulate digital innovation by making publicly funded data more available to emerging technologies, such as Blockchain, so that sectors, such as utilities, transport, banking or security, can benefit from the application of said technology. Blockchain and other technologies can be used for multiple purposes given the immutability and safety characteristics it has, so imagine the endless possibilities in matters of security or economics that access to raw, public data could bring.
Information is like a currency. By opening the channel of public-sector data, the EU is effectively the economy of data. It will be boosted and jobs will be created sector-wide. Data bases could be homogenised to ensure a perfectly controlled border and supply chains could be responsibly managed to avoid any regulation irregularities on the products our families consume. It seems like the new regulation will make the data available free of charge, or for a very low price, and will allow Blockchain products to use all the research data that is already public domain.
Member Countries will have two years to embed the Directive in their own national legislation. It appears as though the EU is invested in technological development and is trying very hard to grow and evolve alongside its citizens. Just a few months ago, it launched the International Association of Trusted Blockchain applications, which offers developers and users of DLT a global forum to interact with regulators and policy makers. These type of initiatives, along with this new Directive, show the understanding of the need for the evolution of technology and the spirit of bringing Blockchain to the next level.
These rules are a real enabler for artificial intelligence and will help Europe to become a world leader in this crucial area. They will bolster the EU digital industry, especially smaller companies and start-ups, which would not otherwise have access to all the data they need to innovate and expand.